Journal Article

Associations between Parent Behavior and Adolescent Weight Control

Amy F. Sato, Elissa Jelalian, Chantelle N. Hart, Elizabeth E. Lloyd-Richardson, Robyn S. Mehlenbeck, Meghan Neill and Rena R. Wing

in Journal of Pediatric Psychology

Volume 36, issue 4, pages 451-460
Published in print May 2011 | ISSN: 0146-8693
Published online November 2010 | e-ISSN: 1465-735X | DOI:
Associations between Parent Behavior and Adolescent Weight Control

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  • Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
  • Psychology


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Objective To evaluate associations between parent behaviors (i.e., parent weight change, self-monitoring of their behavior, and feeding practices and attitudes) and changes in adolescent BMI and weight following 16-weeks of behavioral weight control (BWC) intervention. Method Adolescents (N = 86) 13–16 years old and 30–90% overweight (M = 60.54%, SD = 15.10%) who completed BWC intervention and their parents. Adolescents were randomized to 1 of 2 interventions involving 16 consecutive weeks of active treatment with 4 biweekly maintenance sessions. Adolescent weight and BMI were measured at baseline and 16-weeks. Feeding practices were measured at baseline. Parent self-monitoring was measured during the intervention. Results The only independently significant predictor of adolescent BMI change (p < .01) was parent BMI change. Greater parent self-monitoring (p < .01) predicted greater adolescent weight loss. Greater parent pressure to eat predicted less adolescent weight loss (p < .01). Conclusions Findings highlight the potential importance of parent weight-related behaviors and feeding practices in the context of adolescent BWC.

Keywords: adolescents; obesity; parents; weight management

Journal Article.  5624 words. 

Subjects: Child and Adolescent Psychiatry ; Psychology

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